Share:

Castle Rock

via Old Penitentiary Trailhead

Boise Metro Area, Idaho

Start Exploring
Castle Rock

Share:

Advertisement
  • Hiking along the trail to Castle Rock from the Old Penitentiary Trailhead.- Castle Rock
  • - Castle Rock
  • - Castle Rock
  • A black-eyed Susan with a view of the iconic Table Rock in the distance.- Castle Rock
  • Black-eyed Susan with Castle Rock in the background.- Castle Rock
  • The view from the top of Castle Rock over the Treasure Valley.- Castle Rock
  • Boise downtown as viewed from Castle Rock.- Castle Rock
  • Looking up toward Table Rock from Castle Rock.- Castle Rock
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Scenic view. Accessible.
Cons: 
Crowds. Nearby development.
Advertisement
Region:
Boise Metro Area, ID
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
400.00 ft (121.92 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Total Distance: 
2.70 mi (4.35 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,650.00 ft (807.72 m)
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Located on the edge of downtown Boise, the Castle Rock Loop is a popular and quick opportunity to experience the Boise foothills. Castle Rock was formed by a volcanic rhyolite flow that permeated the existing sandstone in the area, leaving a rock outcropping along the edge of the Treasure Valley.

Although no longer active, previous volcanic activity at the site generated hot water springs used by local Native Americans for bathing and ritual means. The flowing hot water is the namesake for nearby Warm Springs Avenue, where many historic homes still make use of natural geothermal water for heating.  

The hike begins at the historic Old Penitentiary, which is also a common trailhead for nearby Table Rock. The Castle Rock loop heads northwest from the trailhead to downtown, and after a quick 0.3 miles uphill, you'll find yourself with an outstanding view of Boise from the rocky outcrop.  

From here you'll have a spectacular view of downtown Boise, the Boise River below, and the Owyhee Mountains in the distance that line the border between Oregon and Idaho.

From Castle Rock the loop trail continues northwest before switchbacking downhill toward the Hot Springs Trail. As the trail swings back to the southeast it runs along Quarry View Park, which has a large grassy lawn and public shelter.  

For those seeking a quick experience in the foothills of Boise with a spectacular view, Castle Rock is a great destination.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Adventures

(12 within a 30 mile radius)

Advertisement
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
15 Members
Who's Done It
11 Members
Submission by
Contributor
131 Adventures Explored
47 Adventures Published
Team
204 Adventures Explored
73 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info